Charter flight from Germany* to Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen/Spitsbergen/Norway, departure 19.00 hrs
Adventure in north-west Spitsbergen:
enjoy highlights and travel to the edge of the ice depending on the circumstances (including Isfjord, Prins Karls Forland, Ny-Alesund, 14th July Glacier, Magdalenefjord, Liefdefjord (Monacobreen), Raudfjord, Amsterdamoya, Recherchefjord, Hornsund)
At this time of year, so far north of the Arctic Circle, the sun never grows tired. In the summer months, it lights up Spitsbergen’s glistening expanse around the clock. The island group in the far north is a place of wild untameable beauty and a coastline shrouded in ice. The Dutch seafarer Willem Barents discovered the archipelago in 1596 when searching for a north-east passage to Asia. The mountains rise up to 1,700 m (5,577 ft) out of the North Atlantic and inspired Barents to name the region. The allure of the Arctic has also captivated the carefully selected team of experts who are joining you on board. They have turned their passion for geology, glaciology, history and biology into their professions and will share their knowledge in various specialisms with you during the cruise. Find out fascinating facts about how the spectacular landscapes were created, the history of their discovery and the unique polar wildlife in intriguing presentations and personal discussions. In the Arctic realms, where humans are merely minor characters, days of amazing experiences await – and the most beautiful fjords and bays lie ahead. The on-board team’s many years of polar experience will allow you to explore this remote region of surreal natural wonders first-hand. When a shout goes up of “Polar bear spotted!” the crew will react flexibly to ensure you enjoy unforgettable wildlife sightings from the deck. Only an expedition ship like the HANSEATIC spirit can manoeuvre through the ice with such spontaneity and safety. Small, manoeuvrable and with the highest ice class for passenger ships, it can even navigate the nautically demanding waters of northern Spitsbergen, where the ice conditions will determine the course as you travel to the edge of the ice. No two days are the same, and the captain continuously reroutes the ship. A new adventure awaits you on every fjord and every island. Look forward to numerous Zodiac rides and landings during these eventful days. For example on Hornsund, Spitsbergen’s most southerly fjord with its snow-capped chain of mountaintops and mighty glaciers. The artistic drawings by the scientists on board La Recherche show just how much impact the Recherchefjord made on the explorers. Gain your own impressions of this inlet surrounded by glaciers and diverse tundra, which is home to reindeer and many other creatures. Expansive tundra and peaked mountains shape the Isfjord and its neighbouring fjords – one of Spitsbergen’s largest fjord systems at over 100 km (62 mi.) long. In the home of polar bears, Arctic foxes and puffins, thrilling wildlife sightings will be the order of the day. Arctic terns attract attention with their aerial manoeuvres in Ny-Alesund, one of the world’s most northerly settlements. It was from here that Arctic explorers Amundsen and Nobile set out in 1926 in the airship Norge and became the first people to reach the North Pole. Today, a small team of researchers live here to study climate change and its effects on Arctic life. When the HANSEATIC spirit reaches the 14th July Glacier, you can experience the magnificent scenery of a gleaming blue glacier front and shifting icebergs. Surrounded by Arctic flowers, discover thick-billed murres and puffins nesting in the cliffs. The Magdalenefjord reveals yet another spectacular view, where you’ll find historic graves of whalers framed by its glacial backdrop. Surrounded by this overwhelming panorama, you will feel the power and sensitivity of nature, which also shape the Liefdefjord and the majestic Monacobreen. Watching huge blocks of firn ice fall into the sea as the white wall comes to life is simply breathtaking. Watch this spectacle from a respectful distance on the ship or in a Zodiac and, with a little luck, get up-close to seals and whales. The Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park is known for its scenic landscape of contrasts with glaciers, mountains and bays. The palpable effects of the Gulf Stream pave the way here for the HANSEATIC spirit to enter the Raudfjord, Spitsbergen’s most northerly fjord. In certain lights, the mountains take on shades of reddish brown. Amsterdamoya is home to historic man-made relics: the remains of 400-year-old ovens bear witness to the whalers who once cooked blubber here to make lamp oil. Prins Karls Forland and its large walrus population will make a particularly weighty impression. Like so many other times on this expedition, you will get closer than ever before to the wonders of the Nordic natural world. Breathe deeply – watching the unspoilt expanses of this extraordinary island group will help you see the world through new eyes. You’ll return home deeply moved, knowing that you have been part of an exclusive group of explorers on this premier route on the HANSEATIC spirit.
Relaxation at sea
Tromso/Norway, arrival 5.00 hrs
Charter flight from Tromso to Germany*
* Approximately six months before departure, you will be informed at which German airport the charter flight will take off and land. n.a.
The itinerary depends on official approval, weather and ice conditions. The natural experiences and wildlife sightings described are possibilities on this expedition and are not guaranteed.